State health officials hope the declaration will help boost vaccination rates in counties where poliovirus has been detected in wastewater.
Traces of poliovirus have so far been detected The viruses found in Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Nassau County which was the latest to find polio in its wastewater
The traces prove to share counties the same genetic link.
New York’s state health department said it aims to boost vaccination rates from the current state-wide average of about 79 per cent to above 90 per cent.
“On polio, we simply cannot roll the dice. If you or your child are unvaccinated or not up to date with vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real. For every one case of paralytic polio observed, there may be hundreds of other people infected.” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a statement.
However, there is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented by the vaccine.
Mostly affecting children, the virus typically causes muscle weakness and paralysis, and in the most serious cases permanent disability and death.
At the same time, the administration is grappling with polio vaccine hesitancy among the public but state and health officials hope the latest declaration will aide to boost vaccine uptake.
The poliovirus has been detected since April in wastewater from four counties plus New York City.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) says it’s safe to repeat vaccinations if you can’t find your records.